Apr 22, 2010

Sustainability explained through animation - RealEyes Sustainability Ltd.

Hello world! - The Biochar Solution - A MUST READ AND VIEW! ... Monte Hines

April 21, 2010 — Albert Bates, author of "The Biochar Solution: Carbon Farming and Climate Change" discusses the potential of biochar as a source of clean energy, a rich soil supplement and a powerful carbon sequestration device.

April 21, 2010 — Albert Bates, author, teacher and global visionary, shares some perspectives on permaculture, peak oil and Latin America.

Conventional agriculture threatens its own sustainability by eroding soils, polluting water and altering climate. What if, instead, our agriculture could help stabilize, or even reverse these trends?
The Biochar Solution explores the dual function of biochar as both a carbon negative energy source and a potent soil-builder. Created by burning biomass in the absence of oxygen, this material has the unique ability to hold carbon back from the atmosphere while simultaneously enhancing soil fertility. Author Albert Bates traces the evolution of this extraordinary substance from the ancient black soils of the Amazon to its reappearance as a modern carbon sequestration strategy.
Combining practical techniques for making biochar with an overview of sustainable carbon farming, The Biochar Solution describes the potential of a new agricultural revolution to save the planet from climate catastrophe while increasing world food reserves and making energy from biomass wastes. Biochar, unpoliced, also has a darker potential that could push us past the brink of dangerous climate change. Or, it could be the most important discovery in human history. Biochar and carbon farming can:
Replenish depleted soils
Reduce fossil fuels inputs to our food system
Quickly and safely take net CO2 emissions well below zero
Dramatically reduce mortality from smoke inhalation from cooking fires
Reforest deserts
Filter drinking water
Earn more money for farmers
Enhance food security, and
Build carbon-negative homes, communities, and nations.
Albert Bates was a delegate to the Copenhagen climate conference, trying to point the world back towards a stable atmosphere using soils and trees. His books include Climate in Crisis and The Post-Petroleum Survival Guide and Cookbook. Working with the Global Ecovillage Network he has taught appropriate technology, natural building and permaculture to students from more than 60 nations


Apr 21, 2010

Obama to take a grass-roots approach to conservation - USATODAY.com

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to direct the federal government to foster community-based efforts to save the nation's rivers, coastlines, farms, forests and other outdoor spaces as part of a new approach to conservation.
Instead of just designating vast tracts of land to be protected from development, pollution and overpopulation, Obama wants the government to embrace a grass-roots approach to conservation that has quietly taken hold in recent years in U.S. cities and towns and across international borders.
"Communities are uniting to protect the places they love," according to a directive Obama is scheduled to sign today at a White House conference on America's Great Outdoors.
The memo notes that farmers and ranchers, land trusts, recreation and conservation groups, community parks coalitions, governments and industry are working together.
"However, these efforts are often scattered and sometimes insufficient," the directive says.
The president instructs his Cabinet chiefs not to spend any new money.
But by Nov. 15, he wants a report that catalogs successful programs and lists the existing federal programs that could be tapped to support them and help establish new ones.
Nearly a century after Theodore Roosevelt held a conference to establish the national park system, "we are now in a new era," said Armando Carbonell of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a non-partisan land-use organization
Large and small regionally run conservation efforts that could serve as models: the Crown of the Continent, a 10-million-acre area stretching from western Montana across the Canadian border into Alberta, and the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, a 46-mile run of river from Worcester, Mass., to Providence.
The administration's plan to help local governments, private groups and others put together projects to protect natural resources is aimed at more than preservation. The plan also:
• Encourages people to reconnect with the outdoors, a tie-in with first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to tackle childhood obesity.
• Promotes economic development. Cities that have revitalized their riverfronts have cleaned up the environment while providing a place for people to spend money and enjoy the outdoors.
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the conference and the ongoing effort will bring together groups that often have been at odds over land use.
"Conservation is a unifying issue for America," he says. "Hunters, bikers, joggers and outdoor enthusiasts — they're not divided into Republican and Democratic camps, conservative and liberal camps. This is a very unifying agenda for the country."

Apr 20, 2010


We celebrate thoughtful stewardship of natural resources and new ways to tackle issues of conservation and regrowth throughout the year, but as part of Earth Week, we would like to highlight a few PopTech speakers on these themes:

Fuel Alternatives

2007 Speaker Stefano Merlin on renewable bamboo, coconut waste and sawdust to power factories in Brazil.

2008 PopTech Fellows Chip Ransler and Manoj Sinha convert rice husks into electricity at their Husk Power Systems (HPS) in India. (They’re hiring in Bihar, India; details on their site.)

2009 PopTech Fellow Jason Aramburu’s re:char converts agricultural waste into biochar—sequestering atmospheric carbon and improving soil quality. (Congratulations to Jason for recently appointing Dr. James Lovelock to the re:char Advisory Board.)


2009 Speaker Willie Smits is using the forest (and with his company, Tapergy, the Sugar Palm) to generate biofuels with a carbon-positive impact:

2007 Speaker Sarah Otterstrom uses partnerships and employment generation to rebuild Nicaraguan forests.

2008 PopTech Fellow Tevis Howard alleviates poverty for rural Kenyan families with commercial tree farms that provide income and preserve indigenous biodiversity with his organization KOMAZA.


2009 Speaker Katy Payne founded the Elephant Listening Project (Facebook fan page) in 1999 to learn how acoustics shape these communities. Listen as she samples elephant sounds:

2009 Fellow Paula Kahumbu builds community through blogs in WildlifeDirect, as Executive Director, aiming to halt the loss of endangered animal populations in Africa (and globally) with awareness and donations (you can select a region and a species to protect on the site).


2008 Speaker Carl Safina shows how simple solutions can help ensure we only catch what we are fishing with long lines.

2007 Speaker Enric Sala talks about perception, the lack of memory (he takes us back to a pristine remote archipelago 500 years ago), explaining why 99.9% of the world’s coral reef research is flawed.


2004 Speaker Ben Saunders was the youngest person to ski to the North Pole at 26; find out why, when the ice wasn’t flat, he “didn’t have a hope in hell.”

2008 Speaker John Priscu and his robots show what’s happening miles below the Antarctic ice, beyond the blue and the green of the planet.